Problems with the IFI Zen Stream.. What's a better Alternative?

I own two Zen Streams  and use them in different systems. I have used them for approximately two years. On the positive side they both deliver excellent sound quality. The problem is, as of the last few months, they both drop the network signal frequently for seconds to minutes. The red light comes on, then goes back to green. They are both running through ethernet cable, not wirelessly. After hours of trouble shooting, I have concluded that the problem is with the streamer, not something else. I suspect they might be failing due to the heat they generate. That's just a guess. 

My question is: what produces of similar or better sound quality with better reliability new or used? I would like to stay under $1,000.


Forgot to mention that the unit I’m looking to "upgrade" to , if and when I do it, is the Innuos PulseMini.

It’s not stratospherically priced at about $1200. Has a built in DAC incase you need to use that but certainly can feed whatever DAC you already have and most importantly brings the Sense software to the table.

Seems like a rational upgrade from the Zen

@dbb, I suggest you not give up and schedule an appointment with your ISP to check your Internet equipment, etc.

I was also having streaming issues so I recently had my ISP check all my devices, signal performance, frequency in range, etc. He replaced my inside connector/cables, replaced the connectors at my outside distribution cable box and the connectors at the cable box outside my home. He performed speed tests at each point (inside modem, cable box outside home and distribution box at the street) to ensure everything was working. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your ISP to check everything including your router and modem.

BTW, I have issues with routers dropping packets and having other issues that corrupted the cable signal. I suggest you get everything checked before you replace any equipment. I hope this helps. 

During one ISP visit, he deterred my cable signal was out of its normal range so he adjusted it.  


@j_andrews  I'll look into the Innuos PulseMini. I already have a high quality DAC so I would like to avoid paying for something I don't need. Still, sometimes you have to pay more to get what you need. Thanks for your input.

@hgeifman At my summer location, I have upgraded the modem and router to no effect. Your suggestion is well taken on bringing in the IPS tech for a home visit. They will charge me but less than buying a new piece of equipment.

@dbb, I pay my ISP a fee for cable service so my visit was included. As I said, your router and modem may be okay but your cable signal frequency may be out of range. Mine was so a home visit is suggested. Some of my cable connectors were not tight so he replaced them.